The Richest Person in the World
By Steve Goodier
I will always remember Stella. Elderly, blind and living alone, one might
think she should have spun long tales of hardship and misery. And I suppose she
could have told such stories, but she made little room in her life for
self-pity. She might have mentioned the deaths of friends and family, including
her husband; the glaucoma that finally claimed her eyesight; the small pension
on which she was forced to subsist and the arthritis that kept her homebound in
a little trailer house. And nobody could blame her had she despaired that she
had grown so dependent on others.
She never did lament about all her hardships, either past or present. But I
frequently recall her enumerating her good fortune. Speaking of her son, she
often said: "My Jimmy came to see me today. He's so good to me!" Of her friends,
she often commented: "I've been talking on the phone all morning. I'm so
thankful I have such good friends." Then, with a broad smile and a slap on her
knee, she would invariably exclaim, "I'm the richest person in the world!"
And maybe she was! She had love. She found it in her friends, her family and her
faith. She had everything she needed for a happy and fulfilled life. And what's
more, she knew it.
Stella spoke of her upcoming 90th birthday. "All my family will be here," she
smiled. Then slapping her knee, she exclaimed, "You know, I'm the richest person
in the world!"
But she barely made that birthday celebration herself. Several days prior she
was laid in a hospital bed and slipped into a coma. Her family was told she
would die shortly. I felt sad that she would not experience her long-awaited
However, a strange thing happened. On the day of her birthday, she opened her
eyes and greeted the smiling faces of family and friends surrounding her bed.
She sat up and enjoyed birthday cake while someone read cards. They told her
they loved her and they said, "Good-bye." At one point, she looked at me with
that familiar twinkle in her eye, smiled and whispered, "I'm the richest
person in the world!"
Stella went to sleep that night and slipped peacefully away. I have often
wondered if she felt sorry for those who have everything but happiness. After
all, they could be just as wealthy and happy as she, if they only realized that
the greatest of all riches is love.
Thanks to Stella, I have now decided to become the richest person in the world!
And I think I can!
Publisher@LifeSupportSystem.com is a professional speaker, consultant and
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